If you’ve just hit a training plateau and instead of getting discouraged and giving up on regular training, you’d like to know how to bust through it as if it were nothing at all, then this article is for you.
Give your muscles a new reason to grow
A training plateau is the moment when you stop getting substantial results from your workouts. Although it can be an awful experience, hitting a plateau is quite common and shouldn’t bother you that much. Everyone encounters a plateau now and then and if it hasn’t happened to you before, you’re either still a newbie or you’ve been very lucky.
There could be a number of reasons for getting stuck in a rut – you could be training too much or not training enough, eating too much or not eating enough or you may have stopped being able to add more weight to your sets. Whatever the reason, your body has become too adjusted to the strain you place upon it or the caloric intake you’ve been maintaining for a while now, and all you need to do is shake things up a little bit by targeting your bored muscles with a different growth stimulus that will optimize the anabolic processes.
The 100-rep sets method
One of the most efficient ways to burst through a training plateau is by doing 50 or 100-rep sets, depending on your goals and levels of endurance and experience. This type of training will help you push your mental pain barrier and improve your high-intensity performance. There are two ways to do it and they’re equally effective at prompting new muscle growth:
100-rep variation #1
- Select a weight that will allow you to perform 25 consecutive reps with perfect form (for maximum hypertrophy, use a weight that’s 70% of your 10-rep maximum).
- After the 25th rep, rest for 15 seconds.
- Continue repping until you reach failure, then again rest for 15 seconds.
- Continue in the same manner until you complete a total of 50.
- If you’re feeling enthusiastic, extend your rest-pauses to 20 seconds and go for 100 reps.
- No matter whether you choose the 50-rep or 100-rep goal, aim to complete all reps in 6 subsets or less.
- The next time you perform a 100-rep set, make sure to increase the weight.
100-rep variation #2
- Set 1: 40 reps, 60 seconds rest
- Set 2: 30 reps, 30 seconds rest
- Set 3: 20 reps, 10 seconds rest
- Set 4: 10 reps
The 100-rep set is the ultimate cure for any lagging muscle group that needs to be brought up to speed. You can use this plateau-busting technique for targeting specific muscle groups even if you don’t have any plateaus to break through. Give your lagging muscles a decent challenge by you using it in a giant set of 5 exercises with 20 reps each – and while you’re at it, why not try to complete all 100 reps in 100 seconds?
Here’s a great sample 100-rep set finisher:
- Leg press: 100 reps, as little rest as possible
- Lat pulldown: 100 reps, as little rest as possible
- Hammer bench press: 100 reps, as little rest as possible
- Kettlebell swing: 100 reps
And here’s a sample chest and back 100-rep workout:
- Incline hammer strength presses: 100 reps, 3 minutes rest
- Seated cable rows: 100 reps: 3 minutes rest
- Cable flyes: 100 reps, 3 minutes rest
- Lat pulldowns: 100 reps, 3 minutes rest
- Pushups: 100 reps, 3 minutes rest
Organize your workouts so that the giant 100-rep sets don’t interfere with the recovery of the muscle groups you’ve trained the day before. If strength gains are your primary objective, it’s best to use the 100-rep method as a finisher. For example, if your focus is on the chest, perform 100 reps of the hammer bench press after you’re done with your regular chest routine. And if your goal is to burn as much fat as possible, perform 100-rep sets on a daily basis at the end of your regular workout.
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This technique is as versatile as it is powerful, so feel free to experiment with it until you get the results you want. Just make sure that you’re not slacking – if you want those muscles to grow, you better push them as hard as you can!